May 2012 – Face up for my BJD

I have several Kim Lasher dolls that are ball jointed dolls (BJD).   My Lotus Lasher is MSD size and I have seen several Lotus girls who have had new “face ups” done and I decided I would like to give it a try.  There are several face up artists that have businesses repainting the face of a doll.  In fact, in one of my previous posts, you can read abut Leah Lilly who did a face up for my Angel of Dreams BJD.  This time, I decided I would like to give it a try myself.  I am not an artist but I thought perhaps I could look at a face I liked and replicate the colors and shading myself.  Here is Lotus as she came originally:

The first step, after removing the wig and scalp cap, was to remove the head from the body.  This is easily done by twisting the “O” ring or “S” ring.  The head will easily come off.

The next step was to remove all the original painting.  All the articles I read about this advised using acetone.  I didn’t happen to have any acetone in my cabinets at home but then I remembered that was the main ingredient in nail polish remover.  Sure enough, I got out my nail polish remover and saw that the ingredients listed were acetone and fragrance.  So I got a cotton ball and began gently rubbing the acetone on the resin face.  It was hard to get everything out of the cracks!

There were a few videos on You Tube that showed people doing face ups and then I read a few articles about it.  I had a BJD doll magazine that had an article about doing face ups but this required using a respirator and some high dollar acrylic paints.  Then I read where you could use pastels.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some non-oil nice pastels.  I got an emery board and ground up the edge of some pastels onto a plastic lid and and blended the colors together until I got it the shade I wanted.  I used a small brush and even got it a little wet and then dipped it into each color and began painting on the color.  I got so concentrated on what I was doing that I forgot to stop and take pictures step by step.  I glued the eyelashes on; lots of dexterity and patience for that task!  Then first of all I put in green eyes and a strawberry blond wig.

I’m sure it’s because I don’t know what I am doing, but I had problems getting the colors to blend.  And, I need to get a small narrow eraser to remove mistakes.  I used a Q-Tip to blend the colors on the face, but never got it all smoothed out evenly.  Here is Lotus with a dark curly red wig and blue eyes:

Next is Lotus with a blond curly wig and blue eyes:

Once you are finished and have all the colors blended, (which I haven’t gotten there yet with this one), then you spray a fixative so that the colors won’t smear.  I actually grabbed Lotus by the face because she was about to fall.  You can see on her left cheek where my finger took off color.

I need to fix up the color where I smeared it off on and spray fixative on the face to seal it.  The main thing I learned from this experience is that I am no longer afraid to attempt a face-up myself.  It gave me the confidence to buy some acrylic paints and perhaps make another attempt on Lotus with paint this time.  It’s always nice to try something new.  This removes my hesitancy to perhaps repaint another doll in the future.

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